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Abiko International Relations Association


AIRA dispatches interpreters to the Japan Bird Festival 2023

202311051The Japan Bird Festival (JBF), of which AIRA is one of the supporters, was held at the same site as in 2019, before the Corona pandemic, and AIRA dispatched interpreters to the booths for overseas participating organizations. (No.23-15)

 Date : Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5, 2023

 Venue and time :  Ooban (coots) Square, 10:00~16:00  (~15:00 for Sunday)

 Dispatched interpreters

  a)Thailand Booth :  Ms.HAMA Rie(Nov.4), Mr.OSAKI Hiroshi and Mr.NAKJIMA Katsumi

and Mr.SARUWATARI Hiroshi(Nov.5)

  b)Shanghai Booth :  Ms.Liu Peng (Nov. 4),  Mr.Xing Kai Jun(Nov. 4 and 5)

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20231030The second Board Meeting for FY 2023 was held for the purpose of reporting and briefing on the project progress for the fiscal year and the business details  for the second half of FY 2023 (No. 23 -14).

Date and Time :  Monday, October 30th, 2023  14:00 ~ 15:40

Venue :  Abiko Civic Plaza Meeting Room #1

Participants :  17 Board members

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202310191The annual Autumn bus tour was organized by the Cultural Lectures for Foreigners and the Cross-Cultural Activities Department. (No.23-13)

  Date & Time :           Thursday, October 19, 2023     8:15 ~ 16:00

  Venue :           Abiko Clean Center & Tsukuba Ham Factory

  Participants : 16 people (excluding 3 absentees on the day)

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Lecture and Path Counselling Event Abiko City Path Fair for Elementary School and Junior High School Students and Parents who have their roots overseas

202310141A path counselling event was held for local school students from abroad and for their parents working in Japan. AIRA took part in this event as a co-sponsor (No. 23 -12)

 Date and time: Saturday, October 14, 2023, from 13:30 to 16:30

 Venue: Abiko Civic Plaza Multi-Purpose Hall

 Sponsors: NPO Amigo Project, Global Community Matsudo and NPO glolab

 Co-sponsors: AIRA and NPO ACOBA

 Participants: Approx. 50 (elementary school and junior high school students, parents, interpreters and Certified Administrative Scriveners, among others)

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“Twenty-third International Exchange Speech Contest” held

202310081The International Exchange Speech Contest was held aiming to encourage young people to have a global viewpoint and also to enhance their language skills of both English and Japanese. This year marked the 23rd year of the contest. (No.23-11)

 Date & time: Sunday, October 8th, 2023  13:00~16:30

 Venue: Abiko Civic Plaza Multi-purpose hall

 Speakers: 12 people (9 for English session, 3 for Japanese session)

 Reciter: 1 person

 Reporter of study trip: 1 person

 Audience: 61 people

The contest began with greetings and self-introduction by the emcees, Ms.ADACHI Noriko, Director of AIRA General Affairs Department and Mr. Lan Xiu Wen, a graduate student of Chuo Gakuin University.

Following the introduction of the 6 judges, Ms. KITAJIMA Fumiko, President of AIRA and Mr. HOSHINO Junichiro, Mayor of Abiko City, made short speeches. 

President Kitajima told that AIRA is making efforts for a wide range of global exchange and are expecting to hear the speakers’ thoughts for international exchange.

Mayor Hoshino told that approx. 2,300 foreigners from 50 countries are living in Abiko City and expressed his hope this contest would become an opportunity for all to know mutual history and culture. 

The contest started with a recitation by an elementary school student, who recited a passage about “making a choice.”

 The first session was speeches in English. Nine people made speeches about what they experienced in overseas countries, the purpose of studying English, what they learned in Hiroshima, international exchange, and so on, with gestures from time to time.

The second session was in Japanese. Three people made speeches about what they felt and learned through life in Japan.

After all the speeches, Ms. YANAI Kokoro who received the“World Doll Museum Award” last year reported about her overseas trip. It seems she got a new stimulation through her experience in Korea.  She said that she realized the cultural differences when she saw Korean traditional houses and clothes.  She also pointed out that people can understand each other provided that they try to, even if there are differences in races, genders, ages and languages.

Then the evaluation of the speeches began. In the meantime, AIRA’s activities of supporting foreigners such as Japanese classes, translation/interpretation, home-stay, etc. and also the international exchange activities such as the international festival, bus trips, etc. were introduced on film.

The results of the judging are stated below and testimonials were given for each award. Ms. IMOTO Karen was given “The World Doll Museum Award” which was founded with a donation from Mr. KO Yasuhiro aiming to promote globalization among young people, and the inventory was handed over to Ms. Imoto by Mr.Ko.

At the ending, Mr. Maru, Superintendent of Education of Abiko City, commented that all the speeches were full of wills towards international exchange which preferably should be conveyed to others, too. The contest ended with an address by Mr. Omura, Chairman of the executive committee, followed by a tea party in the same place, which was held after 3 years.

All the speakers who were released from the pressure enjoyed talking with the judges and others.


(Translated by NAKAJIMA Katsumi)

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